Our Lord’s Ascension teaches us about our final destination; reaction to Angel’s community panty

Published May 16, 2021, 12:30 AM

by Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD



Today, ASCENSION Sunday, we commemorate the end of the Lord’s public ministry in this world. “Mission accomplished,” Jesus would say. It does not mean that he is no longer with us or went into “retirement.” The evangelist Matthew writes Jesus’ declaration: “I am with you always until the end of the world.”

Jesus has gone up to heaven but, in another sense, he is still with us in the celebration of the Holy Mass.

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FINAL DESTINATION. Our Lord’s Ascension teaches us that our final destination is not in this world but in the next life. Moreover, the Lord said there will be surprises: “There are those who are first now will be last and  those last now who will be first” (Mk 10,31).

There’s a story about a devout lay minister who died and off he went to the next life. There, one either goes to the top floor: heaven,  where the righteous are rewarded with eternal bliss.

Those who have venial or light sins go to  the second floor, purgatory, and those with mortal or grievous sins are herded to the basement, hell, where their punishment is eternal torment.

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Now the lay minister found himself in purgatory.  As he roamed about his new home, to his surprise he met his former parish priest.

“Father, I didn’t expect you to be here,” the excited parishioner exclaimed.  “Why aren’t you up there?” pointing to heaven.

“Ssshhhh, quiet, Brod. I just saw our congressman. He’s down below us!” whispered the priest. (The congressman’s wrongdoing was malversation of a huge public fund).

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Unfortunately, many people today are more preoccupied with amassing wealth (some ill-gotten) and worldly concerns than their spiritual duties. As the Lord declared, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but suffers the loss of his own soul?” (Mt 16,26).

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The time between Jesus’  Ascension and his return in the Last Judgment, we are told not to fix our concern solely on the afterlife but to establish  “colonies  of heaven” ALREADY here on  earth.

That means we must work continuously to make God’s Kingdom on earth one that is characterized by justice, love, truth, and peace.

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When Jesus will return at the world’s reckoning, he will judge us on the basis of our good or evil deeds. The righteous will be rewarded but the wrongdoers will be condemned to eternal torment (Mt 25, 35ff.)

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We all want to go to heaven, don’t we? If you don’t like to, your only option is hell with Lucifer as your master! So, let’s do what Jesus requires of us while we’re still in this world.

Echoing Jesus’ teaching on the Last Judgment, Pope Francis said our good works will be our “passports” to heaven. And as the spiritual writer John Dunne reminds us: “I shall pass this way but once. Any good,  therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show, let me do it now. Let me not neglect nor defer it for I shall not pass this way again.”

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REACTION ON ANGEL LOCSIN. A reader, Raymond Crane, reacted to my column on the good deed of TV celebrity, Angel Locsin, saying: “Another example of a self-promoting ‘celebrity’ seeking out the limelight. The appropriate thing for her to do would be to contribute to community pantries… “

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I beg to disagree with Mr. Crane. Miss Locsin’s gesture of  community sharing on her birthday may be “self promoting” but she and many others, including myself, regard it more as a good Christian act.

We should look at it positively. Isn’t it uplifting that Miss Locsin  took the initiative to share her resources with the less fortunate amid the pandemic crisis?

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Moreover, she was inspiring people, like her fellow celebrities and the wealthy, to do a similar act. As a celebrity, it made a greater impact on her advocacy rather than just “contribute to community pantries.”

I don’t know what religion Mr. Crane belongs to but Jesus Christ, the God of all Christians, clearly teaches, “Let your light shine before men so that they may see your goodness and give praise to your heavenly Father” (Mt 5,16).

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APPEAL. There are so many people suffering from the corona virus pandemic. I am helping some to buy expensive medicines but my funds are just lacking. May I appeal to your kindness to please help these poor patients? Any amount will be highly blest and appreciated.

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The Lord said, “Whatever you did to the least of My brethren, you did it for Me” (Mt. 25,40).

For inquiry, e-mail me at: [email protected].